So there were 2 protests that occurred on Saturday for each of the political parties, the amazing thing is that there was no violence! I wasn’t sure what the state of the negotiations were between TGV/TIM, so I was worried that we would have clashes between the 2 groups.
Fortunately people came and showed their support and left quietly, which is great. There were some reports of minor skirmishes in Analakely, but they were dispersed by the police.
Here are some of the details that I could gather from each of the rallies:
- Announced 2 new ministers. Minister of tourism: Gilbert Raharizatovo and Minister of defence: Mampianina Raoenantsoa.
- Benja Razafimahaleo tells the crowd that Marc Ravalomanana has somehow diverted money from customs, taxes and the central bank for his own purposes. (Ya, right… that sounds believeable… no one would have noticed that…. <insert conspiracy theory here>)
- Ravalomanana appologizes again for the death, injuries and destruction that has occured because of the political turmoil. Maintains that he is the only president, that he respects the constitution and knows his responsiblities.
- Mentioned that the UN is seeking the installation of a commission of some kind.
- The priority for him and his government is to restore order and peace as well as the protection of goods/services.
- Congratulates the PDS.
- Thanks the crowd for coming out in the weather on Wednesday and for coming out today.
- Artists that played at the rally were: Lianah, Thiero Bruno, spesialista, 3%, Tafita, Mahaleo Zandriny
- TIM Europe has demonstration outside of RFI Paris regarding misinformation by media.
I think everyone breathed a sigh of relief when Saturday was over, I know I did! I was sure that having 2 competing rallies on the same day just hours from each other would lead to trouble.
The next big obstacle will be what happens on Monday morning… Will Rajoelina respect the concessions made during mediation or will he try and install his ministers and march on government buildings? That’s the big question, I personally don’t have any faith that he will, especially if it is true that he is disappointed in the negotiations up to this point. I am hoping that respects the concessions, because if he doesn’t, we could see supporters marching on various government offices to install his ministers Monday.
Other than the rallies, there is very little else in the headlines other than the cost of Milk going up from 2000 Ar to 3000 Ar. Also, there is mention of some VCD of “Bloody Saturday” circulating in Tana. I don’t have much information on it, or know for certain it is true, but I am going to hazard a guess that if it is, then it is something being put out by the TGV propaganda machine. Here’s why:
- It is not time to release this yet: People are still mourning and no one wants to relive the events of Feb 7th. again so soon.
- It is too fast: If it was an objective, documentary type of film it would not have been released yet because it takes longer than that to gather information/interviews/pictures. Also, it is not appropriate to release it now because of my first point, and secondly because the political crisis is still on.
- Who stands to gain: The government would not gain from the release of such a VCD, only TGV would.
The VCD could only be circulating right now because people are trying to capitalise on the emotional state of the Malagasy people. If the VCDs are out, then I can only imagine what types of pictures, video and commentary are on it. It would definitely be emotionally charged enough to try and incite hatred or sway political opinions, no one should do this to people during a time of crisis. What also isn’t right is that (I have heard) that the VCDs cost 2000 Ar a piece, charging for your own propanda? How absurd (if true), I hope no one is buying this thing.
Let’s hope things stay peaceful Sunday and Monday.